Farm build­ings and ma­chin­ery

If you can’t pre­pare for Brexit - get ready for win­ter

Argyllshire Advertiser - - FARM­ING -

As the UK un­hitches from the EU, it’s im­pos­si­ble to plan ahead with much cer­tainty.

But what you can pre­pare for is to get through these cold, dre­ich months in good shape for what­ever lies ahead.

High winds, rain­fall, snow and freez­ing tem­per­a­tures can threaten farm sheds and build­ings. Iden­tify build­ings that may be vul­ner­a­ble to snow or storm dam­age and re­pair or up­grade these be­fore win­ter.

Re­pairs and ren­o­va­tions can be chal­leng­ing, so be con­fi­dent you have the right con­trac­tor to meet your needs. Us­ing a tried and trusted firm can give you peace of mind.

Have you made pro­vi­sion for fuel and heat­ing oil go­ing into win­ter, and how is your stor­age? Farm thefts are a prob­lem, so make sure your fuel tanks and stores are se­cure. And it is handy to have an emer­gency gen­er­a­tor in re­serve.

An­other con­sid­er­a­tion must be feed and bed­ding sup­plies to see live­stock through the win­ter – no mat­ter how ex­pen­sive these are af­ter such a dry sum­mer in many parts.

Have a think as well about how you will get feed to an­i­mals in bad weather. It might be worth con­sid­er­ing ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas to which iso­lated stock may be moved in poor con­di­tions.

Ma­chin­ery main­te­nance is es­sen­tial, so cre­ate in­ven­to­ries for ma­chin­ery and equip­ment and pri­ori­tise what needs to be done and when, then keep equip­ment in­side, away from frost.

A bit of prepa­ra­tion to en­sure wa­ter sup­plies to stock are re­li­able in the event of hard frost could pre­vent big prob­lems. Think about con­tin­gency ar­range­ments such as wa­ter bowsers.

How are you go­ing to en­sure ac­cess and exit points are open in bad weather? Es­tab­lish early on how snow can be cleared, ei­ther with your own equip­ment or nearby ma­chin­ery – and have suf­fi­cient stocks of salt/grit.

These days rain is more likely than snow, so have you en­sured no sur­face wa­ter is en­ter­ing slurry stores? Where pos­si­ble, empty slurry stores in prepa­ra­tion for win­ter in or­der to avoid the need to spread dur­ing un­suit­able con­di­tions.

An­other im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion is in­sur­ance. Have you re­viewed your in­sur­ance, and does the pol­icy in­clude a cover for se­vere weather or storm dam­age?

On a wider scale, joint plan­ning with neigh­bour­ing farms is some­thing to con­sider, to en­sure crit­i­cal busi­ness ac­tiv­ity can be sus­tained.

With just a few ba­sic checks, you will be able to get on with do­ing what you do best – farm­ing.

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